Right now, the most common plot in Hollywood is White Male Finds His Inner Strength. That umbrella covers every movie from The Imitation Game to Taken 3 to, yes, The Interview.
We need a range of faces behind desks, behind cameras, and (as Chris Rock suggests) even behind sound-mixing boards … [Hollywood is] very much a white, male, friend-of-a-friend business. I’m not trying to bash white males. Some of my favorite movies were directed by white males! (Er, how could they not be?) Sure, I want to see more movies like Amma Asante’s mixed-race period piece Belle. But I also I wonder if the true test of diversity would be the inverse: say, when Ava DuVernay gets hired to direct Taken 4. Of course, why would she want to?
I’ve thought a lot about this from a few angles. Earlier this year I tried to figure out why there wasn’t a single hit romantic comedy in 2013. Not one cracked the top 100—because no major studio released one. No one likes to stick up for the middlebrow romantic comedy where a goofy blonde finds her handsome, dull prince. But that they’re not even getting made feels like the canary in the studio’s conformist, cartoon-superhero coal mine. It shows that Big Hollywood has placed all its chips on the young white male audience, and somehow still sees female-driven hits like Maleficent and Lucy and even The Hunger Games as outliers. (And The Hunger Games movies are made by Lionsgate—no major studio was smart enough to buy the rights, even though they’ve made so much cash that Lionsgate has leveled up.)
Sure, The 400 Blows belongs in the canon of the most important films of all time—Boyhood might, too—but watching both films, I felt exhausted in the exact same way. Why must I always care about a boy’s coming-of-age story, when there are so few movies similarly tracking and mythologizing the growth of a girl?
Amy Nicholson, “Why I’m Just About the Only Critic Who Found Boyhood Less than Fascinating.” (via oscarisaaacs)